Extraordinary photo of 200 pet carriers outside home: the story

The photograph is certainly eye-catching. It stopped me in my tracks – really. Although the picture is unusual, the backstory is sadly rather typical in that it tells the story of a cat rescuer who let things go and matters have got entirely out of hand. A house in Killen, Texas was home to 200 cats, kittens and dogs.

Over 100, perhaps 200 cat and dog carriers outside the home in Killen, Texas, USA from which nearly 200 cats and dogs have been removed. Photo: Humane Society of the United States.
Over 100, perhaps 200 cat and dog carriers outside the home in Killen, Texas, USA from which nearly 200 cats and dogs have been removed. Photo: Meredith Lee of the Humane Society of the United States.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

An interesting aspect of this story is that the shelter owners operating out of this home said the following:

“Spark of Life Kitten Foster and Rescue was issued a search warrant this morning. We are accused of animal cruelty/neglect due to the recent number of kitten deaths we experienced. A question was raised by Killeen Animal Control Officer Amanda Gilbert because we took our deceased kittens to the shelter crematorium. We do not believe in throwing kittens in trash cans and it is illegal to bury pets in the city limits. While we admit to being overcrowded, we have never intentionally put an animal in harm’s way. All animals, including our personal pets, are being seized by the Killeen Police Dept. and transferred to the American Humane Society. We are cooperating fully because our concern has always been for the safety and welfare of cats. If we are not providing adequate care, then we should not be a rescue. A court date is in the near future. Those who wish to attend as supporters should privately contact our page…”

The interesting part for me is that the shelter took what appears to be a large number of deceased kittens to the crematorium but because of that they where seen as causing animal suffering through neglect by Animal Control. Suspicions were raised as they would be.

It seems that the cause of the overpopulation of pet cats and dogs at this home-based animal rescue was a failure to say no to people who want to give up their pet or who bring unwanted animals to them.

“We rescue cats. When we say, ‘No,’ there is a 90% chance the animal will die. We are not good at saying no. But there are too many right now and I am grateful for the help we are receiving today.”

Director at Spark of Life

The Humane Society of the United States is assisting in caring for and where appropriate rehoming the 200 cats and dogs removed from this home.

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